Each year, more than 23,000 children age out of the US foster care system. Through the operation of our emergency shelter over the years, we have witnessed the heartbreaking outcome for many of these kids when they turn 18 and ask us, “Where can I go? Can’t I just stay here?”
Statistics for these kids are grim:
Our program aims to ensure young adults don’t fall into these statistics.
We help our participants experience age-appropriate mistakes and consequences and learn responsible behaviors; manage their own finances, with supported flexibility as income and life situations change and with access to necessary resources to meet their essential needs; manage their own time, including scheduling of appointments; maintain and develop connections with family, caring adults, and supportive networks. We measure our progress by the number of individuals who open a bank account, acquire a driver’s license, get a job, save money, purchase/acquire a vehicle, pursue a high school diploma or GED, apply for and/or enroll in higher education, access mental health services, connect with a mentor, and pursue individualized development goals. By taking these steps to become healthy, responsible adults, our program participants become active, contributing members of their communities. They learn to become self-supportive, so they don’t fall into a cycle of incarceration and/or unemployment. They learn they have a voice, they have value to others, and they have something to offer the world.
We currently offer 10 placements for young adults 18-21 who have aged out of foster care in the state of Texas. Participants accepted into the program receive housing, connection to wraparound services, life skills, mentoring and guidance through an ever-expanding community of supporters.